Sixty Percent of US Muslims Reject Freedom of Expression
After violent Muslim reactions to the amateurish "Innocence of Muslims" video, which simply depicted a few of the less salutary aspects of Muhammad's biography, international and domestic Islamic agendas have openly converged with vehement calls for universal application of Islamic blasphemy law.
This demand to abrogate Western freedom of expression was reiterated in a parade of speeches by Muslim leaders at the UN General Assembly. The US Muslim community echoed such admonitions, for example during a large demonstration in Dearborn, Michigan, and in a press release by the Islamic Circle of North America.
Now the results of polling data collected by Wenzel Strategies during October 22 to 26, 2012, from 600 US Muslims, indicate widespread support among rank and file American votaries of Islam for this fundamental rejection of freedom of expression, as guaranteed under the US Constitution. The First Amendment states, plainly,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
When asked, "Do you believe that criticism of Islam or Muhammad should be permitted under the Constitution's First Amendment?, 58% replied "no," while only 42% affirmed this most basic manifestation of freedom of speech, i.e., to criticize religious, or any other dogma.
Indeed, oblivious to US constitutional law, as opposed to Islam's Sharia, a largely concordant 45% of respondents agreed "...that those who criticize or parody Islam in the U.S. should face criminal charges," while 38% did not, and 17% were "unsure." Moreover, fully 12% of this Muslim sample even admitted they believed in application of the draconian, Sharia-based punishment for the non-existent crime of "blasphemy" in the US code, answering affirmatively, "...that Americans who criticize or parody Islam should be put to death."
Also, consistent with such findings 43% of these US Muslims rejected the right of members of other faiths to proselytize to adherents of Islam, disagreeing, "...that U.S. citizens have a right to evangelize Muslims to consider other faiths." Additional confirmatory data revealed that nearly two-fifths (39%) agreed "...that Shariah law should be considered when adjudicating cases that involve Muslims, " while nearly one-third (32%) of this American Muslim sample believed "...Shariah law should be the supreme law of the land in the US."
These alarming data remind us that despite intentionally obfuscating apologetics, Sharia, Islamic law, is not merely holistic, in the general sense of all-encompassing, but totalitarian, regulating everything from the ritual aspects of religion, to personal hygiene, to the governance of a Muslim minority community, Islamic state, bloc of states, or global Islamic order.
Clearly, this latter political aspect is the most troubling, being an ancient antecedent of more familiar modern totalitarian systems. Specifically, Sharia's liberty-crushing and dehumanizing political aspects feature: open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order; rejection of bedrock Western liberties-including freedom of conscience and speech-enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel; and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption.
And the US Muslim data mirror global Islamic trends. Previously, the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (subsequently renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC]) - the largest voting bloc in the UN, which represents all the major Muslim countries, and the Palestinian Authority - had sponsored and actually navigated to passage a compromise U.N. resolution insisting countries criminalize what it calls "defamation of religion."
Though the language of the OIC "defamation of religion" resolution has been altered at times, the OIC's goal has remained the same; to impose at the international level a Sharia-compliant conception of freedom of speech and expression that would severely limit anything it arbitrarily deemed critical of, or offensive to, Islam or Muslims. This is readily apparent by reading the OIC's supervening "alternative" to both the US Bill of Rights and the UN's own 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, i.e., the 1990 Cairo Declaration, or Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.
The opening of the preamble to the Cairo Declaration repeats a Koranic injunction affirming Islamic supremacism (Koran 3:110, "You are the best nation ever brought forth to men . . . you believe in Allah"); and its last articles, 24 and 25, maintain [article 24], "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia"; and [article 25] "The Islamic Sharia is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration." The gravely negative implications of the OIC's Sharia-based Cairo Declaration are most apparent in its transparent rejection of freedom of conscience in Article 10, which proclaims:
Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of compulsion on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to convert him to another religion, or to atheism.
Ominously, articles 19 and 22 reiterate a principle stated elsewhere throughout the document, which clearly applies to the "punishment" of so-called apostates from Islam, as well as "blasphemers":
There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Sharia. Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Sharia. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Sharia.
Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.
Institutional Islam in North America - epitomized by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) - also endorses and promotes this Sharia supremacism. AMJA's mission statement maintains that the organization was,
"founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America. . . . AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation's laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities."
It is accepted by the mainstream American Muslim community, and regularly trains imams from throughout North America. Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates, "blasphemers," (including non-Muslims guilty of this "crime"), and adulterers (by stoning to death); condoned female genital mutilation, marital rape, and polygamy; and even endorsed the possibility for offensive jihad against the U.S., as soon as Muslims are strong enough to wage it.
Finally, it should be noted, 81% of this sample of Muslim Americans were either "definitely for Obama," or "leaning Obama."